High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell concluded his participation in the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting, which took place on 3-5 May 2021 in London.
At the end of their meeting, G7 Foreign and Development Ministers adopted a Joint Communiqué.
On 4 May, G7 Foreign Ministers continued their wide-ranging discussions on topical foreign policy subjects. On 5 May, they addressed issues related to media freedom, arbitrary detentions, freedom of religion or belief, cyber governance and tackling disinformation. The European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, and the other G7 Development Ministers joined the discussion virtually for an in-depth exchange on the global sustainable recovery.
During the meeting, the High Representative underscored the EU’s strong commitment to the rules-based international order, grounded in international law and guided by engagement in multilateral frameworks and international cooperation.
Josep Borrell stated: “It is crucial that we work on a common agenda with interested partners based on democracy, human rights, equality and the rule of law, particularly against the background of rising authoritarianism and human rights abuses around the world. In the G7 format – as the world’s leading democracies, acting together and in a coordinated way – we are ready to tackle the challenges the world is facing nowadays.”
Several international issues were discussed among G7 Foreign Ministers, including the state of relations with China and with Russia, the situations in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, the Korean peninsula, as well as in the Western Balkans and the EU’s eastern neighbourhood, notably in relation to Ukraine and Belarus. Regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), the High Representative highlighted the need to use the current window of opportunity to advance towards a possible return of the United States to the JCPoA and ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPoA.
Together with G7 partners and the Foreign Ministers of Australia, India, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and Brunei (the current chair of ASEAN), the High Representative discussed prospects for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. He presented the European Union’s recently-adopted strategy for cooperation in the region, highlighting the EU’s intention to work with like-minded partners to contribute to regional stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development at a time of rising challenges and tensions.
With regard to G7 efforts to ensure a sustainable recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Representative, who was joined virtually by the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, reiterated the EU’s commitment to ensure global and equitable access to vaccines, tests and treatments and its role in driving global vaccination efforts as main exporter of COVID-19-related vaccines in the world.
In her intervention, Commissioner Urpilainen said: “Building a better tomorrow means educating girls today. The EU fully supports the G7 Girls’ Education Declaration and the inclusion of specific targets as the very minimum milestones towards reaching all children by 2030. And while more still needs to be done, we also welcome the progress made in the discussions on climate adaptation and resilience, and fully support the Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crisis Compact.“
Commissioner Urpilainen also addressed the urgent need for action on famine, given the additional impact of the pandemic, and the EU’s strong support for the Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crisis Compact, including its coverage of both short-term issues, such as humanitarian finance and access, and the longer-term, including aid effectiveness and preparedness.
In the margins of the G7 ministerial meeting, the High Representative held productive meetings with a number of colleagues, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau1, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi2, and Indian Minister for External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar3, with whom he issued a joint statement on Afghanistan. He also had meetings with the South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor, the Foreign Minister of Brunei Darussalam Dato Erywan Yusof4, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea Chung Eui-yong5, and the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, with whom he reached an agreement regarding the status of the EU Ambassador and EU Delegation to the UK reflecting that which is accorded elsewhere in the world